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2009: A year of hope in Mizoram
Published on 30 Dec. 2009 10:52 PM IST
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The year passing by saw people in Mizoram looking up with great expectations to Lal Thanhawla-led Congress government which had promised to usher in a change in the state administration. Lal Thanhawla-led Congress party swept the December 2, 2008 Assembly polls trouncing the incumbent Mizo National Front by garnering 32 seats of the 40 seats. Riding on the strong anti-incumbency wave, the Congress swept 79 per cent seats in the Village Councils elections and captured the lone Lok Sabha seat in the General Elections held on April 16. The Congress thumping victory was attributed mainly to the partys electoral promise of providing Rs one lakh per family under its flagship New Land Use Policy (NLUP) and a promise of good, transparent and clean governance. The Chief Minister has said his governments flagship programme, New Land Use Policy, will be launched as a New Years gift to the people of Mizoram. ''We have been in power for just a year and in such a short period not much achievement can be expected. However, certain significant steps for development have been taken. We have succeeded in getting a larger annual plan size for 2009-10 at Rs 1,250 crore, a 25 per cent increase from last year,'' Mr Lal told mediapersons here recently. The ten-year-old Mizo National Front (MNF) ministry from 1998 to 2008 had not been doing very well and in fact it had witnessed an uprising of ''down trodden'' farmers under the banner of Zoram Kuthnathawktu Pawl (Mizoram farmers association). The strong anti-incumbency wave brought the Congress to victory after ten years of hibernation. The resurrected Congress ministry during this one year seemed to live up to the expectations of the people. Anti-corruption watchdog Prism (Peoples Right to Information and Development Implementing Society of Mizoram) in its recent review on the Congress government expressed satisfaction with the latters performance. ''The Congress government has vigorously pursued its electoral promises. Its so far so good,'' said Prism president Vanlalruata. On the negative side, the year 2009 also witnessed communalism rearing its ugly head in the state as hundreds of minority Brus in western belt of the state fled to the neighbouring Tripura following torching of their houses by irate mobs. The communal violence was triggered by the gunning down of a Mizo youth by suspected Bru rebels who called themselves Bru Revolutionary Union on November 13. The killing had stalled the repatriation of 35,000 Bru refugees lodged in six relief camps in Tripura which was scheduled to begin from November 16. These Bru refugees left Mizoram after communal conflict in 1997.

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